EMOTION, EMOTIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF EMOTIONS

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Data collection procedures

In this section the data collection procedures are presented. The process took between 5 (for participants who did not pass the pre-assessment) and 30 minutes (for participants who passed the pre-assessment and continued with the interview). After the researcher, research assistant (in the case of the Sepedi speaking participants) and the participant took their seats, the participant was asked his/her name and the tape recorder was switched on, whereupon the researcher introduced herself to the Afrikaans participants, while the research assistant introduced herself and the researcher to the Sepedi participants. All sessions were recorded. The participant was asked his/her age and told that the tape recorder was switched on to check whether the researcher wrote down everything correctly.

Integrity of data collection

Each overlay and intensity scale was numbered to ensure accurate recording of data. During the data collection sessions the researcher recorded each participant’s responses on an individual score sheet (Appendix V). Responses were subsequently transferred from each individual’s score sheet to a collective sheet. These rewritten scores were double-checked by the researcher and a second person. The researcher captured the data from the collective sheet to a Microsoft Excel 2000 book. The data captured was compared to the collective sheet by the researcher and a second person. This procedure was necessary to make sure that no errors occurred during the data capturing process. Any transfer errors were corrected and the process was repeated until it no more transfer errors were found.

Description and comparison of expected and unexpected choices of graphic

symbols across the two language groups Results are presented in terms of participants’ selection of expected and unexpected symbols. Expected symbols in this study refer to any of the 4 PCS systematically identified to represent a specific basic emotion. Unexpected symbols in turn refer to any PCS on the presented overlay which is not one of the expected symbols of the target basic emotion. Due to the nature of the task selecting an expected symbol is not more correct than selecting an unexpected symbol. For every emotion there were four possible expected symbols and twelve possible unexpected symbols for participants to select from.

Choice of expected and unexpected symbols

Significant differences at the 1% level between the expected symbols selected by the different language groups to represent happy, angry, afraid and sad were observed (Table 4.2.). These results support the differences observed in studies that investigated different symbol characteristics within different language groups in the South African context (Basson & Alant, 2005; Haupt & Alant, 2002), accentuating the dynamic relationship between language groups and the interpretation of symbols (Bornman, et al., 2009). It was also further indicated in Tables 4.3 to 4.6 that not only did these two language groups differ in relation to their choices of which graphic symbols represent an emotion, but the range of symbols selected per emotion varied. It was the Sepedi-speaking participants who had the broader range of representations for each emotion which seem to suggest a greater variability in their perception of the symbols representing the emotions.

Symbols representing sad

According to literature the features for sad are inner eyebrows raised and drawn together, furrowed eyebrows, eye lids tight, an opened mouth with upper lip being raised, lip corners stretched and turned down, pulled up chin. Afrikaans speaking participants chose expected symbol 10 [ ] as the most representative symbol for sad. Symbol 10’s [ ] features are no eyebrows, eyelids turned down, large mouth curved downwards and an extra feature of a tear on the cheek; the features of symbols 14 [ ] which was chosen second most are eyebrows curved down (inner corners raised), big open eyes, an opened mouth with lip corners turned down and an extra feature of a tear on the cheek.

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Intensity ratings of vignettes in relation to basic emotions across language and

gender groups The third sub-aim of the current study was to compare and describe the intensity ratings of vignettes in relation to each basic emotion across language and gender groups. The only significant difference found between language groups was in regard happy. Sepedi speaking participants selected happy more often than their Afrikaans speaking peers who selected very happy to describe the intensity of the happy vignettes. According to Wang (2003) the intensity component of emotion situation knowledge is sensitive to cultural influences. In his study American participants assigned higher intensity ratings to emotions than their Chinese counterparts, especially for negative emotions.

Clinical implications

This study has several clinical implications. Firstly when working in a country like South Africa with a heterogeneous population it is important to remember that different individuals’ cultural backgrounds have an influence on the way they perceive and interact with different graphic symbols. Secondly when working with children it is imperative not to assume that they interpret graphic symbols the same way therapists, teachers or the developers of graphic symbols do. This does not mean that graphic symbols cannot be used when working with these populations; it rather means that the individuals might need more instruction or explanation on the graphic symbols than merely the labelling of the graphic symbols. Practitioners who wish to introduce AAC into schools need to make sure that the teachers or therapists they train to implement and use AAC in the schools understand the above point and that they will not assume that the children they work with will perceive the graphic symbols they same as they do.

TABLE OF CONTENTS :

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  • ABSTRACT
  • YOUNG SOUTH AFRICAN CHILDREN’S RECOGNITION OF EMOTIONS
  • AS DEPICTED BY PICTURE COMMUNICATION SYMBOLS
  • Key Terms
  • OPSOMMING
  • JONG SUID-AFRIKAANSE KINDERS SE HERKENNING VAN EMOSIES
  • SOOS UITGEBEELD DEUR “PICTURE COMMUNICATION SYMBOLS”
  • Sleutelkonsepte
  • CHAPTER
    • INTRODUCTION
    • 1.1. Introduction
    • 1.2. Problem Statement
    • 1.3. Definitions of terms
    • 1.4. Abbreviations
  • 1.5. Chapter outline
    • 1.6. Summary
  • CHAPTER
    • EMOTION, EMOTIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF EMOTIONS
    • 2.1. Introduction
    • 2.2. The construct of emotion
    • 2.3. Development of emotions in children
    • 2.4. Emotional knowledge
    • 2.5. Studies on the visual perception of emotions
    • 2.6. Graphic symbols depicting basic emotions
    • 2.7. Summary
  • CHAPTER
    • RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
    • 3.1. Introduction
    • 3.2. Aims
      • 3.2.1. Main aim
      • 3.2.2. Sub-aims
        • 3.2.2.1. Sub-aim
        • 3.2.2.2. Sub-aim
  • 3.3. Research design
  • 3.4. Definition of terms used in the sub-aims and research design
  • 3.5. Phases of the study
  • 3.6. Development of the material
    • 3.6.1. Selection of emotions
    • 3.6.2. Selection of symbols depicting emotions
    • 3.6.3. Selection of vignettes
    • 3.6.4. Strategy for indicating intensity
    • 3.6.5. Pre-assessment task
    • 3.6.6. Translation
  • 3.7. Pilot study
  • CHAPTER
    • RESULTS
    • 4.1. Introduction
    • 4.2. Missing data
    • 4.3. Statistical comparison between Afrikaans and Sepedi speaking participants with regard to expected and unexpected symbols selected to represent basic emotions
    • 4.4. Description and comparison of expected and unexpected choices of graphic symbols across the two language groups
      • 4.4.1. Symbols representing happy
      • 4.4.2. Symbols representing angry
      • 4.4.3. Symbols representing afraid
      • 4.4.4. Symbols representing sad
    • 4.5. Description and comparison of expected and unexpected choices of graphic symbols to represent the basic emotions per vignettes across language groups
  • CHAPTER
    • DISCUSSION
    • 5.1. Introduction
    • 5.2. Choice of expected and unexpected symbols
    • 5.3. Most preferred symbols to represent the emotions
      • 5.3.1. Symbols representing happy

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Young South African children’s recognition of emotions as depicted by Picture Communication Symbols.

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